After two postponements (thanks to a VERY understanding and flexible venue!) Kristian and I got married on 30th July 2021 (our original date was August 2020 and our second was June 2021). It may have poured with rain but this made it an even more quintessentially British day!
Upon looking for a venue, we wanted to find somewhere around halfway between where we live and where most of our friends and family live. We were looking for a place with a very relaxed, ‘boho’ sort of vibe with beautiful surroundings. Stratton Court Barn ticked ALL of our boxes but, even more importantly, it had Karin! Karin made the experience what it was – smooth, organised, memorable, stress-free and exciting. You would never think that she organises so many weddings a year; she made us feel like ours was the only wedding she had to focus on!
Food and Photography
Catering – S&J Cuisine
Sally and Jasmine were so lovely to work with. Their canapés were particularly delicious! We had a ‘sharing platter’ style main course (to go along with the relaxed feel of our whole day) and a trio of my favourite puddings for dessert – brownie, key lime pie and Eton mess. Delish!
Photography: Jessie Whealy
We found Jessie on Instagram. She had only done a few weddings before but we LOVED her style of photography and we got on with her really well at our engagement photoshoot. We are definitely not comfortable in front of the camera by any means, and she made us feel incredible.
Dress and Suits
Dress: Lillian West from The Bridal Room Broadway My dress was the Bell Sleeve Lace Dress with Criss-Cross Back Detail by Lillian West . I wanted something A-line with long sleeves and a ‘boho’ vibe. I actually didn’t like the bell sleeves at first but grew to love them – they are so unusual! It was actually my second dress – the one I bought for our original wedding was by Essence of Australia, but I fell out of love with it. I think I had associated it with postponements and disappointment…!
Suits – Cotswold Tailor
I loved the floral collar inside the shirts that Kristian and his groomsmen wore. The men also wore floral ties which coordinated almost perfectly with our flowers. Kristian stood out by wearing a different style waistcoat (tweed with some pink running through!) and a bow-tie instead of a tie.
Flowers and Venue Styling
Flowers – Signature Flowers
I wanted our flowers to be a bit ‘wild’ (not a ‘neat’ bouquet!), mainly pinks and white but with some other pastels in there too. My bridesmaids had matching bouquets, but smaller, and we had small bunches in mismatching glass jars scattered across the tables.
Venue styling: Something Borrowed Event Hire
We chose to have Edison bulb lights hanging above the top table and a canopy of lights outside. Unfortunately it rained almost our entire wedding day so we didn’t get to go outside very much but it still made for a very pretty entrance for those arriving in the evening!
Using our connections
Stationery – Floral Laura Laura and I went to the same school when we were younger. I had followed her craft journey on Instagram and approached her to ask if she’d done a wedding before (she’d only done one for a friend) and whether she’d do mine! She agreed and was a complete and utter delight to work with, WhatsApping me regularly with picture updates. The stationery was stunning and we were complimented on it by many of our guests.
Family tree – Emma Macedo
I also know Emma from school. She is an incredibly talented crafter and I loved the idea of having a hand-drawn family tree at our wedding for our guests to peruse. It took us weeks to research our family tree properly and Emma had a task on her hands turning it into an aesthetically pleasing design but, as you can see, it turned out beautifully! It is now proudly displayed in our living room.
Cake – Taylor-Made Cakes
Gemma is one of my best and oldest friends – and, luckily, also a baker! I tasked her with a pressed edible wildflower design on Pinterest, and my oh my did she deliver! She also made some co-ordinating vegan and gluten-free cupcakes. We had three flavours – vanilla sponge, chocolate sponge and lemon. In the craziness of the evening, I only managed a mouthful, but to me, this was the centrepiece of our wedding!
These guys were incredible and played a mixture of modern songs and old-school tunes. One of our guests even booked them for his own wedding after hearing them at ours!
Sophie’s top tips:
Something I wish I’d planned for in advance was sorting umbrellas! I assumed (stupidly, as I apparently forgot we live in England!) that a July wedding would be sunny but no – it POURED with rain. I was checking the weather forecast every day from about a month before and there seemed to be a break in the rain over our wedding day. However, a few days before, the forecast changed. My dad and I spent ages ringing round countless bridals stores to try to find wedding-appropriate umbrellas! We finally came across some but it was a very stressful day.
On the actual day, I would highly recommend trying to find some alone time with your partner. It sounds silly but I barely saw Kristian over the entire day! The only proper time we got together was during the photoshoot (where you can’t really talk that much) and at the wedding breakfast (where you talk lots to your family either side of you as well). We found 10 minutes in the evening to go and hide somewhere to have a bit of a debrief!